Europe's massive plan to require open access for all science gets two new backers: Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation

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As a scientist who runs into paywalls myself (despite being at an institution that subscribes widely) I am a strong proponent of real (not “hybrid”) Open Access journals. But I’m always annoyed that both you and the mainstream press constantly bring things like Sci-Hub into this. It reminds me of tech articles in the 1990s that always mixed up Linux and Open Source with piracy of Windows. The way forward isn’t to live as parasites pirating things from Microsoft and Elsevier but to create a system where relying on unfree software/publications is unnecessary.


I was thinking something very similar. Your analogy to pirating Windows is very apt.

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An interesting breakdown of what it costs to run a journal if you publish only 200 papers a year (quite a low number), and all your staff are volunteers (pretty much the norm):

I believe the Wellcome Trust is part of the Burroughs Wellcome Glaxo Smith Kline heritage. In other words, an arm of a (gasp) pharmaceutical company doing the right thing.

That’s where the money came from originally (in the 1930s when pharmaceutical magnate Sir Henry Wellcome died), but it is important to realize that it is an independent organization and even went so far as divesting itself of all pharmaceutical related stocks in the 1990s in order to make sure it has no conflicts of interest.

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